Why I Chose UA
After 13 college applications, 9 school visits, and 1 plane ride, I stepped outside the rental car agency for the first time in Tucson, Arizona. A hot burst of wind smacked me in the face. I was startled at first but after a few minutes, I adjusted to the temperature and felt somewhat at peace with the heat on my skin.
Coming from California, The University of Arizona was the only school I had applied to out-of-state. My reason for applying was honestly juvenile; my friend told me that the application would take under an hour, which was significantly shorter than filling out the Common app, and I was adamant about applying to at least 12 schools. My mom loved to remind me that I would only be attending one university, “so what is the point of applying to so many schools and do you KNOW how much application fees cost?” but I had a notion in my head that the more schools I applied to, the better my chances were of being accepted. Somewhat flawed logic, but hey, I was an 18-year-old with a fear of rejection letters piling up in my mailbox.
My friend was right, the application was straightforward and simple, and after I applied I did not think much about the UA until a couple weeks later when I received my first acceptance letter. I now had a chance to be a part of the Wildcat family. Everyone in my family was so excited, and I had even received a scholarship, which my mom loved. We toasted to my first college acceptance, and I went to sleep that night with a newfound confidence.
As we drove through Tucson before my campus tour, I was astounded with how much UA stuff was everywhere. Every restaurant we went to had some sort of Wildcat themed menu item, and student discounts galore. There were entire stores devoted to Wildcat swag, which I had never experienced growing up in California. A sense of school spirit buzzed throughout Tucson, a low hum that made me feel as if I was a part of something for the first time in my life.
On my campus tour I was amazed with the majestic brick buildings, the bright green grass on the mall, and the Saguaro cacti surrounding the school. I looked around at the students, everyone was lounging on the grass wearing shorts in the seemingly forever-summer utopia. Mom nudged me and asked what she always did on my campus tours, “do you see girls you could share a closet with and boys you could date?” For the first time, I didn’t have to look around, the answer was obvious. This was where I fit in, this was my home. Nodding to my mom I grinned as the sun shined on my face. We then listened to our tour guide tell the story of how John “Button” Salmon coined the phrase “Bear Down” which symbolizes the perseverance and strength embodied by the Arizona Wildcats. However, it wasn’t until years later that I finally understood the meaning behind those words.